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Do you believe in an afterlife?

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Poll Question: Do you believe in an afterlife?
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I prophesy disaster View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote I prophesy disaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 14:05


 
 
No, I did not post this in the wrong thread by mistake. The term "Flying Teapot" is based on Russell's teapot, which is sometimes invoked in discussions about the existence of God, although as a general principle about philosophic burden of proof, it also applies to discussions about the existence of an afterlife.

 

 

I was thinking about thinking but it really didn't get me very far.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cosmiclawnmower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 14:14
Do I believe in an 'After-life'? No. A 'life' after (this?) 'life' as in reincarnation of your conscious mind, personality, the experiences of a previously lived life wholly intact in a fresh, physical, material body? No!
I've lived much of my adult life as a firm atheist and materialist but in the last 10 years or so I have come more to realise it is more the institutions and power structure of organized religion that I have reacted against so strongly. I feel that there is an element of your 'soul' (for want of a better word) which is absorbed, like your physical body, back into 'the One' (again, for want of a better phrase). I see it as a process of Physics and Chemistry rather than a 'Spiritual' one (the word 'Spiritual' is so massively and inappropriately used and misappropriated to make it near null and void in meaning anyway) yet there is a sense of the 'Mystic' (again, again this word loses its meaning by the inappropriate and negative way in which it is used) that I feel saturates the physical, natural world. I do not believe it is 'a' God. It could well be just the workings of a human mind trying to attach meaning to abstract symbols in the world. I don't know. I don't care that I don't know. I have worked and lived in and with the natural environment (farming, gardening, managing and studying landscapes and Eco-systems) all my life and there is something beyond human reasoning that vibrates with energy (maybe higher, maybe more base or probably both) which has NO personality, being or form, benign or malign. Beyond that I don't know. 

I know my mother struggled with her 'Faith' all her life and just before her death she was finally reconciled with 'her Church'.. much of my childhood was spent absorbing and dealing with the bitterness of the effects this had on our family. Religion is definitely for humans.. all other life is outside and free from that shackle and bondage..


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 14:21
Originally posted by I prophesy disaster I prophesy disaster wrote:


Gong Video


No, I did not post this in the wrong thread by mistake. The term "Flying Teapot" is based on Russell's teapot, which is sometimes invoked in discussions about the existence of God, although as a general principle about philosophic burden of proof, it also applies to discussions about the existence of an afterlife.



I knew that and am glad you mentioned him. I'm a big admirer of Bertrand Russell and did a topic called A Liberal Decalogue: Russell's Ten Commandments

That was a fun discussion (and is my favourie topic that I've started).

Originally posted by Bertrand Russell Bertrand Russell wrote:

Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time



Edited by Logan - July 24 2020 at 14:22
"The fundamental cause of the trouble in the modern world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt" (Bertrand Russell).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shadowyzard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 14:27
Originally posted by Cosmiclawnmower Cosmiclawnmower wrote:

I've lived much of my adult life as a firm atheist and materialist but in the last 10 years or so I have come more to realise it is more the institutions and power structure of organized religion that I have reacted against so strongly. 


Very good post!

Sorry for your mother's loss. May she R.I.P.

As for the part I quoted from your words, I know exactly what you went through. I've had friends that have more or less the same mindset that you once possessed. I've always said "reactionary atheism" is not healthy. Just because something is written in the "Holy" books, shouldn't necessarily mean that an atheist should reject it or fight against it. I've never been a typical atheist (but more of an apatheist), so I guess I'll continue to be a firm atheist and materalist for the rest of my life. Am I 100% sure of this? No. But I see it highly likely.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TCat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 14:51
20 years ago, I was a very religious, church-going person who devoted a lot of time to my church and held local leadership positions.  Somewhere along the change of the century, I had a major change in my life that threw everything into disarray and turned me into a completely different person when I came out the other side of it all.

My answer to the question is Yes.  But, I do not believe in religious organizations just like I don't believe that corporations are living entities.  To me, it's all the same thing.  A religious organization is only there for profit (or prophet if you are in the mood for a bad pun).  From what I have learned in life, all they were organized for was to destroy the truly ancient beliefs (of which there were many) by consolidating it into one major belief.  Now, look at where that got them.  People love power over others, and people created the religion to hold people under their power.  So, I've given up on finding any answers of any kind in religion.

However, I find it so hard to believe that this life is all there is.  That is the one thing I can't accept.  Just like it is impossible for me to comprehend that the universe has an end, it is also hard for me to comprehend an end to intelligence.  If there is an end to the universe, what is beyond the universe?  If there is an end to life, how can we comprehend simply just ending, not existing anymore?  Some may not have a problem understanding that concept of just coming to an end, but I can't.  All of the things that we have individually worked for in our lives is just for naught?  I just can't believe that at all, but, just like everyone else, I can't prove it either.  

I consider myself quite open minded on the concepts of afterlife.  I have even thought up some very odd possibilities also, but haven't gone so far as to take them seriously I suppose.  I do lend some credence in stories of the "supernatural" as I think there are just too many experiences out there that support the possibilities of an afterlife.  I know some things are made up, but most of it isn't because, what do most people have to gain from making that kind of stuff up?  I highly believe that there are things that science can't explain, though it is the best thing we have right now for general answers on many subjects.  But at least science claims it's not perfect, just as people aren't "perfect" and at this point it seems we never will be.  

I don't think there is a heaven as most people have come to picture it, because, if there was, no one would be there if we are expected to live like religion wants us to.  In my opinion, that is the reason why there are so many problems out there in the world, because religion has created so many rules that are completely against human nature.

I could go rambling on and on, but that's my basic take on it all.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 14:57
^ Mike, Feel free to ramble away if you want to. I really appreciate getting the chance, and even consider it to be an a honour, to read such a heartfelt post that shares your personal experiences, intuitions, and thoughts. Sincerely, thanks for sharing.
"The fundamental cause of the trouble in the modern world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt" (Bertrand Russell).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shadowyzard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 15:02
I have (and had) many religious people, or people like TCat in my life as friends, relatives etc. Of course I don't know about TCat that much, but you get what I mean.

I believe how we were brought up and what we experienced made us what we are. So, I really try hard not to hurt people because of what they believe in. I'm also lucky that I haven't experienced anything traumatic yet, by reason of my mindset and at times expressing it in many anarchic ways; yes, I must be lucky about it, considering all my openness about being an anarchist, atheist, and materialist. I should thank the world and everything and everybody for that, I suppose. 




Edited by Shadowyzard - July 24 2020 at 15:14
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Snicolette Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 16:37
As it is entirely a personal matter, I think people absolutely have the right to believe or not believe in whatever they wish regarding this subject.  And no one has the right to dictate that they do otherwise, or force their beliefs on others.  I can see both sides of is there one, or is there not one?  I enjoy pondering on philosophies as well and finding out what others think about the big questions in life (and death).  Thank you for bringing this up, Logan!
"Into every rain, a little life must fall." ~Tom Rapp
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 16:44
Originally posted by Logan Logan wrote:

I don't feel the need to include "other" option, though I expect that some would  

yep! LOL

so "other" for me...  much as anything in life.. or hah.. the after life.. it ain't as simple as black and white ...

yes and no man..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 16:53
Again, my Yes has nothing to do with religion. I am Catholic, all my life and will end this life as a Catholic, for sure I have wavered here and there as most do with religion. I don't ever see myself leaving the Catholic church.....but nothing in how I was raised or all the Catholic teachings makes me select Yes.

I just believe there is an afterlife. Now if the question is 100% scientific and only that then you can easily argue the answer is No, since there is no proof.

This to me is the same as asking if there is life outside of our Earth........and my answer is of course there is, no way we are the only beings of our kind in the entire universe. 
What we have been able to explore outside of Earth is akin to going outside your house and exploring your porch, no further. As Earthlings we will never have the ability to travel far enough and survive to find another human race. What we are made of exists in space......unlike the robots that roam this website.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TCat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 17:45
Just to make it clear, since I might have made things a bit confusing at the beginning of what I said, but after my life changing occurrences at the start of the 2000s, I removed any organized religion from my life.  I have never been happier or more content.  But I still believe that there is something beyond this life, or at least I feel it very strongly.  As others have said though, it has nothing to do with religion or what another person wants everyone to believe.  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Snicolette Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 18:13
I have a personal observation to add from when my husband died.  He was in our living room in a hospital bed and died at exactly 8AM.  His son and I were there, and the pets.  About an hour later, as we were waiting for the woman to arrive who would prepare him to be taken to cremation, I was sitting on the couch across from him, with our dog, Ribsey, dozing next to me on the couch.  Ribsey suddenly jerked his head up, aimed his ears toward him, then whined and jumped down off of the couch, ran over to him and licked his hand.  Then he backed up a pace and looked up toward the ceiling.  I cannot help but feel that that is when what many people would call "spirit," left his body.  I'm sure there are a million other explanations, but I do feel that whatever "energy" we are may stay for a bit and then move on, when it's ready.  Where does it go?  Thinking of what Catcher10 said, I think it goes into the stars somewhere.  My husband always said that the music just came to him, he just had to write it down and play it.  I do hope, if it is possible, he went to where the music came from.
"Into every rain, a little life must fall." ~Tom Rapp
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Grumpyprogfan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 18:38
Atheist here.

Curious as to what the afterlife is for believers. Do you take memories and your body? Floating orb soul? No memories = wouldn't remember anyone. How will you find your dog? Wherever this place is wouldn't if have to be big? And those that don't make it, do they really burn in fire forever? That too me would say you need a body or vessel to feel pain. If you feel pain do the other senses work?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CosmicVibration Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 19:31

The so-called afterlife is a higher vibrational existence.  When man sheds his material body and leaves this gross vibration of material existence, he exists in a much finer vibrational realm of pure light energy.

There were many Masters that traversed between this physical plane and the astral plane and spoke of it.  The astral plane is basically a blueprint for the physical realm.  Astral energy condenses into what we perceive as matter.

This material universe is actually quite deceptive in that nothing is really solid.  Matter is 99.99% space, the rest being atoms are also mostly space.  And atoms themselves are not really material either but energy vibrations. 

Matter is defined as anything that can be touched physically. But nothing ever touches; you have never touched anything, ever.   If you were to scale up the size of atoms to letís say the size of golf balls, the closest atom from the tip of your finger to the keyboard key your supposedly touching would be over a mile away.   It seems that weíre living on some kind of Star Trek holodeck with force fields. Shocked  Ok, Iím going off on a tangent here, back on point.

There are many different vibrational levels in the astral world.  Depending on a personís state of evolution, his vibrational energy determines which level he can reach.  Unless one reaches the highest level in the astral plane one must come back to the slower condensed vibration of the material world.  A person bounces back and forth (reincarnation) between the astral universe and the physical universe for 2 main reasons. One, if there are any debts that need to be paid, large or small, one must come back.  All wrongs need to be righted, all lessons learned. Two, if there are any unfulfilled desires, large or small, they must be satisfied.

When those 2 conditions are met, man breaks the cycle and there is no need to come back to the material universe.

There were a few Masters that even peered into a sphere beyond the astral plane and spoke of it.  A realm of pure consciousness, where anything is possible, the only limitation is oneís imagination.   This realm, the causal universe, is a blueprint for the astral universe.  Thought from the causal world condenses into energy of the astral world and the energy from the astral world condenses even further into our physical reality.

Manís final transcendence is beyond that of all vibratory realms of the physical, astral and casual.  This final unity with Spirit is beyond the cognitive ability of man.  It is said to be beyond thought itself, even with a limitless imagination it cannot be grasped.

Remember, you are not your body, you are not your thoughts..

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 21:30
Originally posted by Snicolette Snicolette wrote:

I have a personal observation to add from when my husband died.  He was in our living room in a hospital bed and died at exactly 8AM.  His son and I were there, and the pets.  About an hour later, as we were waiting for the woman to arrive who would prepare him to be taken to cremation, I was sitting on the couch across from him, with our dog, Ribsey, dozing next to me on the couch.  Ribsey suddenly jerked his head up, aimed his ears toward him, then whined and jumped down off of the couch, ran over to him and licked his hand.  Then he backed up a pace and looked up toward the ceiling.  I cannot help but feel that that is when what many people would call "spirit," left his body.  I'm sure there are a million other explanations, but I do feel that whatever "energy" we are may stay for a bit and then move on, when it's ready.  Where does it go?  Thinking of what Catcher10 said, I think it goes into the stars somewhere.  My husband always said that the music just came to him, he just had to write it down and play it.  I do hope, if it is possible, he went to where the music came from.
There sure could be a million other explanations......but that explanation could be the same for the millions of times things like this have happened to a family. Again, to me that could be enough "proof" to believe there is an afterlife, rather than not believe. So a question is did Ribsey behave like this normally?

Cool topic, endless discussion for sure.

Carry on....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Snicolette Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 21:35
Originally posted by Grumpyprogfan Grumpyprogfan wrote:

Atheist here.

Curious as to what the afterlife is for believers. Do you take memories and your body? Floating orb soul? No memories = wouldn't remember anyone. How will you find your dog? Wherever this place is wouldn't if have to be big? And those that don't make it, do they really burn in fire forever? That too me would say you need a body or vessel to feel pain. If you feel pain do the other senses work?
  For me, I don't know.  I just think I believe rather than disbelieve, which makes no logical sense. Just like I believe there could be other intelligent life off of this planet, which may never be proven scientifically.  I know some things I've experienced that can't be explained to any certainty.  I just know that until I don't know for certain, there are still possibilities.  I definitely don't believe that there is burning in eternity for those who don't follow one silly stricture or another, that is kind of absurd, since that one usually goes along with the idea of a god or gods.  Why would something so huge be so concerned with such small details of so many individuals?  I think that it is likely that there is more than one reality within these larger realms.  Or maybe not.  Smile  I am just not discounting it until I know for sure it is discountable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Snicolette Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 21:52
Originally posted by Catcher10 Catcher10 wrote:

There sure could be a million other explanations......but that explanation could be the same for the millions of times things like this have happened to a family. Again, to me that could be enough "proof" to believe there is an afterlife, rather than not believe. So a question is did Ribsey behave like this normally?

Cool topic, endless discussion for sure.

Carry on....
  Ribsey's job in life was to be wherever Tom was.  He was Tom's dog before we re-met many years after the times we spent together in a larger group of friends and musicians.  We blended our pet families when we moved in together.  Ribsey now is my "guardian."  He follows me in the same way he followed Tom everywhere that he could.  So they certainly were bonded, but Ribsey would not normally whine in this way and then stare at the ceiling, he was just a silent shadow.  He was not a particularly vocal dog (rarely barks) until I became his raison d'tre.  Now he does vocalize, but still not barking, more "talking."  It sure seemed to me that he was aware of something, even though Tom no longer "lived," in that moment.  Another weird thing that happened is that we were playing a classical music station from the time we brought him back from the hospital for hospice care (he lived for just over two days), since they told us hearing is one of the last senses to remain.  He lived and breathed for music.  When his breath stopped, I looked at his son, then over at the clock, and then said, "8:00.  Exactly."  Dvorak's Largo from The New World Symphony began playing on the station.  

Edited by Snicolette - July 24 2020 at 21:53
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 21:55
Originally posted by Catcher10 Catcher10 wrote:

Again, my Yes has nothing to do with religion. I am Catholic, all my life and will end this life as a Catholic, for sure I have wavered here and there as most do with religion. I don't ever see myself leaving the Catholic church.....but nothing in how I was raised or all the Catholic teachings makes me select Yes.

I just believe there is an afterlife. Now if the question is 100% scientific and only that then you can easily argue the answer is No, since there is no proof.

This to me is the same as asking if there is life outside of our Earth........and my answer is of course there is, no way we are the only beings of our kind in the entire universe.†
What we have been able to explore outside of Earth is akin to going outside your house and exploring your porch, no further. As Earthlings we will never have the ability to travel far enough and survive to find another human race. What we are made of exists in space......unlike the robots that roam this website.


I did a deeper a deeper dive on this I think in the Bertrand Russell thread, but belief as I've been saying I don't treat as synonymous knowledge (related and overlap, certainly, how much so and in what way depends on the angle).

Sorry to repeat myself, but if you consider something to be true, then that is a belief (it doesn't mean it's truth, but you believe it). You don't have to know with certainty, and if it is not a Truth then the belief is not true knowledge. Basically, knowledge is considered to be evidence-based whereas belief does not require evidence (justified belief should be justifiable). Knowledge should be based on evidence, on falsifiability, on perceivable truth (that I could have phrased better). If I don't see the evidence that something is true such as the afterlife, then my default is not to believe in it, even if I don't ultimately know (have access to truth writ large). It's compatible to say that "I don't believe in an afterlife and I don't know if there is an afterlife". And one can say "I don't believe in an afterlife nor do is disbelieve in an afterlife.

The question could be phrased as "Are you convinced that there is an afterlife?" I wonder then how many would say I don't know.

Science isn't about proof, it's about evidence. Now I'm quoting myself from the Liberal Deacalogue thread since I got really into this there:

"The burden of proof is used in law and logic, and formal debate, and in logic means that one should adequately demonstrate a thing to be if not absolutely true, valid reasoning for the assertion (premises should be considered acceptable, relevant and sufficient enough to convince people who have no skin in the game that the conclusion/assertion logically follows), or something similar, been ages since I studied it. Of course what's considered valid etc. depends upon the person, but in logic (and mathematics) the propositions should support the conclusion in acceptable ways that should satisfy the standards of logical reasoning. Making arguments in formal academic logic does have fairly universal standards, and it is a closed-system of propositions (within particular frameworks).

In science, it's about evidence as there is no proof. It's not a closed system and every theory is open to questioning, adaptation or scrapping when new evidence comes to light. Science is about trying to understand how the universe works, but it shouldn't be making absolute truth claims as everything is open to reevaluation -- hypotheses, theories and claims are provisional and tentative -- they are subject to change."

I think you may be confusing the knowledge concept with belief.

When you say, "This to me is the same as asking if there is life outside of our Earth........and my answer is of course there is, no way we are the only beings of our kind in the entire universe" in your analogy you are asking a different category of question to the one I intended. Is there life outside of Earth? I would expect so, I think so, but I don't know (I remain ultimately agnostic on the matter). Do I believe that there is life outside of Earth? Okay, I must admit that I would want to answer in a more nuanced way than yes or no. It seems highly unlikely to me from a probability standpoint that we are alone in the universe. I tend to believe so, but that belief is held tentatively, and I recognise that we lack "proof". I feel that there is justification to believe, or assume, that there is life outside of Earth despite any lack of evidence. I think that it is a reasonable assumption, but it still an assumption.

Of course knowledge and belief are related concepts, and it is said that a sound belief is based on evidence as well, and the time to believe is when something can be demonstrated. Do I have sufficient evidence for a firm belief in extraterrestrial life, no. Am I convinced that there are extra terrestrials, I am reasonably convinced, but it is not held as a true belief because of the lack of evidence even if it is true.

There is a relationship between belief and knowledge of course and I do not mean to,or can I, fully separate the two. In fact knowledge is sometimes called justified true belief.

Originally posted by micky micky wrote:

Originally posted by Logan Logan wrote:

don't feel the need to include an "unsure" or "other" option, though I expect that some would like to have that option. I'm more interested in what people have to say than poll results anyway. Answering yes or no does not require certainty. I don't believe that I can be certain of anything, and I am ultimately agnostic on all matters, which does not mean that I don't believe or am not convinced when it comes to many things....


yep!†LOL

so "other" for me...† much as anything in life.. or hah.. the after life.. it ain't as simple as black and white ...

yes and no man..


Feel free to elaborate on your views any way you can. I'm more interested in people's thoughts and experiences than just how they vote. As I often say, the poll question should merely be treated as an accessory to discussion, and all tangents are welcome. I'm not meaning to force anyone to choose, and if it's other, that can be explained in a post so I can understand better your rationale. I hope you find reading through the read interesting at least. There is room for nuance, but I was approaching this from a particular philosophical standpoint by phrasing it in a dichotomous manner. If you needed a few beers to get through what I was trying to express in the Bertrand Russell topic where I discussed similar things, you might need a case to get through this. I do hope that believing and not believing in the afterlife simultaneously is not causing any cognitive dissonance.

Edited by Logan - July 24 2020 at 22:13
"The fundamental cause of the trouble in the modern world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt" (Bertrand Russell).
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Snicolette View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Snicolette Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 22:18
I really love how you delve so deeply into the process, Logan.  I admit, sometimes I am just answering in a sort of stream of consciousness way, to see how I arrive at the destination.  I, too, love seeing how others think of these things and how they get there.  We may never know these answers, but at least we ask the questions.  
"Into every rain, a little life must fall." ~Tom Rapp
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Ozric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 24 2020 at 22:22
Iíll let you know when I get there
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